Today's Matchup: Brewers (Hand) @ Giants (Lincecum)

Ed Szczepanski-USA TODAY Sports

Today is the Brewers' last day in San Francisco until 2014.

If you had told me on Monday that the Brewers would win two games in San Francisco, I would've been happy with that.

Instead, today they'll get a shot at win #3 when they face Tim Lincecum (4.43 ERA, 3.62 FIP) at 2:45. Lincecum is not the pitcher he was when he won back-to-back Cy Youngs in the late '00s, but this season he's also better than he was when he led the NL in runs allowed in 2012. He pitched seven innings against the Rays on Saturday and allowed a run on six hits, walking one and striking out five.

Lincecum threw a no-hitter against the Padres four starts ago, and has thrown seven innings or more and allowed two runs or less in three of his last four starts. In the other one, he got bombed to the tune of eight runs on nine hits over 3.2 innings. He could repeat any of those performances today and have it not be surprising. His fastball velocity is down in recent years and now sits around 90, and he'll pair it with changeups and sliders that combine to represent 40% of his arsenal.

Lincecum has not faced the Brewers this season but has seen them nine times in his career, including once last season. Two current Brewers have faced him ten times or more:

Player PA AVG OBP SLG OPS
Rickie Weeks 25 .263 .440 .632 1.032
Jonathan Lucroy 10 .333 .400 .333 .733

He'll face reliever-turned-starter Donovan Hand (3.60 ERA, 4.91 FIP), who could be getting ready to turn back into a reliever as Marco Estrada, Tom Gorzelanny and Yovani Gallardo all get healthy. Hand set a new career high by pitching seven innings against the Nationals on Saturday and allowed three runs on five hits, walking one and striking out three.

Hand has only allowed eight home runs over 50 innings this season, but six of them have come in his last three outings. Combine that with his low MLB strikeout rate (4.5 per nine innings) and you have a pitcher whose long term major league success is something people will be skeptical about. Yes, that was a dreadful sentence. Lay off me, I just got back from the dentist.

Hand has never faced the Giants in the majors.

Brewers lineup:

Aoki 9
Segura 6
Lucroy 2
Gomez 8
Gindl 7
Bianchi 4
Francisco 3
Betancourt 5
Hand 1

And in the bullpen:

  • Alfredo Figaro pitched two innings (34 pitches) last night.
  • Michael Gonzalez pitched one inning (17 pitches) last night.
  • Burke Badenhop pitched one inning (10 pitches) last night.
  • Jim Henderson pitched 1.1 innings (25 pitches) on Tuesday.
  • Brandon Kintzler pitched .2 innings (12 pitches) on Tuesday.
  • Rob Wooten pitched .2 innings (six pitches) on Tuesday.
  • John Axford last pitched on Monday.

Today's game may be a daytime contest in San Francisco, but the weather has not changed from the night games. Expect a game time temperature around 58 with 90% humidity and winds blowing out to center for the fourth consecutive day.

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